151 Band

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gun Free Norman

I am an avid supporter of the 2nd Amendment.  I believe that the Supreme Court's Heller decision was a good one, and yes, our right to keep and bear arms is a right that cannot nor should not be infringed.  I also fought long and hard to get the legislature to approve campus concealed carry, but to no avail.  The whole of the Constitution is precious, not just one of the Amendments.

Yet, there are times when common sense and dignity should overrule our ego maniacal desires to be right just for the sake of being right.  Nowhere is this more evident than in this ongoing drama regarding the Norman Music Festival.

The Oklahoma 2nd Amendment Association filed suit against the City of Norman and the organizers of the Norman Music Festival because there was in place a "no firearm" policy.  District Judge Thad Balkman (yes, the former legislator) ruled in favor of the OK2A, and the justification makes sense.  But I would argue that it's not exactly the right thing to do.

Norman hosts numerous music events throughout the year (Jazz in June, May Fair, the Medieval Fair and Midsummer’s Night Fair) and attendees of the events deserve the opportunity to attend an event that has been historically "gun free."  We're talking about a four block area in Norman - not the whole bloody county, so the OK2A doth protest too much.

The argument, I suppose, is that the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms transcends local regulations and that there is never a time or place for any of our rights to be "tread upon."  You see what happens there?  The argument is shifted from the micro to the macro, which overshadows the here and now and the unique circumstances therein.  For example, it's our right to bathe in chocolate syrup, Snickers bars, Pop Tarts, and Jack Daniels.  It's our right to walk around the State Fair yelling in Klingon.  It's within our rights to tell our spouses that yes, that dress DOES make her ass look big.  But the question is, why?  Why would we want to do those things?

The music performed at the music events aren't Country AND Western exclusively, so maybe this is a tactic by the OK2A to silence music that they just don't really like?  Maybe?

As a musician, I'm not interested in firearms at a performance because it's a musical event, not a gun show.  It's ridiculous that we've come to this point in our culture where the only way to reach an agreement or a compromise is to take it to court - and to thing that Judge Balkman isn't biased, you're sadly mistaken - which represents a problem with electing judges, but that's another topic altogether.  The two parties couldn't have just sat down and hammered out some kind of agreement, could they?  I know a few of the folks over at the OK2A and they used to be a reasonable crew,  conglomeration of people passionate about the 2nd Amendment, but still possessing a modicum of common sense. 

It's sad and pathetic that we can't even have a music event without it turning into some political garbage.

It's my opinion and I could be wrong, but I bloody well doubt it.